GOP lawmaker calls for TSA chief to resign

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"The time has come for serious action to be taken," Broun continued. "As such, I request your immediate resignation from the position of TSA administrator. The safety of our country’s travelers requires drastic change, and the time for that change is now.”

Broun's call for Pistole's resignation comes as a pair of congressional committees hammered TSA officials Wednesday during an hearing about idle equipment.

During the hearing, Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) both called for TSA officials to explain a report released by their respective committees showing 5,700 pieces of equipment had been purchased and stored in a warehouse owned by the agency in Dallas.

"Somebody needs to see the failures, both in acquiring equipment, deploying equipment, and not having equipment sitting in a warehouse when people are trying to take our lights out," Mica, who is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said during the meeting.

In calling for Pistole's resignation Wednesday, Broun also argued the controversial airport security agency was ineffective, calling the agency a "bloated, broken bureaucracy."

But Broun said TSA's problems went deeper than logistics.

"Since the beginning of 2012, rarely has a day gone by without at least one report of over-the-top behavior by TSA agents," Broun wrote to Pistole.

"TSA's website states that integrity is among the agency's core values. However, the incidents [listed in the letter], as well as the countless other public complaints which are brought to light nearly every day, indicate the agency is far more interested in patting down children and the elderly than it is in focusing on terrorists who may be attempting to board commercial flights," Broun continued.

In a statement provided to The Hill, the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the TSA, defended Pistole.

“John Pistole is a highly respected member of our nation’s counterterrorism community," the DHS statement said. "He came to TSA with more than 25 years of law enforcement experience, most recently serving as the Deputy Director of the FBI."

DHS added that "[I]n just under two years at TSA, Mr. Pistole has significantly strengthened transportation security for all Americans. 

"He has fully implemented Secure Flight and the Certified Cargo Screening Program and has ushered in a strategic and risk-based approach to aviation security through programs like TSA Pre-Check," the DHS said. "The secretary and the administration have the utmost confidence in Mr. Pistole's leadership and his  commitment to ensuring the safety of all Americans.”

—This post was updated with new information at 5:25 p.m.

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